Intellectual property law is a set of laws that deal with safeguarding and enforcing the rights of people’s inventions, talent and artistic works. Just in the same way the law protects real human beings, property law does protect the intangible property. The purpose of property and intellectual law is to provide inventors with incentives to further their creativity with a view to advance the needs of the society. The fact that the innovations help to advance the interests of community development, property rights are intended to profit the innovators.
Under the US constitution, authors are granted exclusive right to their creative works. Section 8 of the constitution has given the Congress the authority to regulate commerce between states, which offers support to come up with legislation in the area of property law. The U.S Patent and Trademark Office and the U.S Copyright Office are the two agencies that administer the property laws.
Patents are designed to provide inventors with the right to make use of their product in their area of business. Depending upon the invention, patent rights are designed to last approximately 20 years. Some of the items that qualify under this law include technological improvements, new machines, and designs and manufactured goods. Patent law will not apply to inventions that are believed to be of obvious design or look or those that are morally offensive.
On the other hand trademark laws protect the slogans, symbols, names and images that are used to identify particular goods or services. The purpose of this law is to eliminate confusion, help buyers distinguish different brands and prevent false or misleading advertisements. Since the objective of trademark law is to help distinguish between brands, generic or marks perceived as descriptive may not qualify. Rights under this law can last forever and are obtainable by way of a mark. Although not necessary in law, trademark owners may register their marks for further protection.
Copyrights are also closely related to trademark and intellectual property rights only that they are limited to music, architectural designs, motion pictures and writings. However, this law does not cover theories, ideas or such things that have not been covered in a fixed medium. A copyright is a creation of the works and it includes unpublished works. It is common for copyright owners to use a copyright symbol and the date but this is not a requirement. In many jurisdictions, including the US. Copyrights are valid throughout the life of the copyright owner plus an additional 70 years.
All these legislative processes are aimed at protecting the owners against infringement by other people. Infringement may be defined as gaining access or using someone else’s intellectual property without the express authority of the owner of the right. As a means of advancing this right, owners are encouraged to make the world know that their rights exist. This notice is aimed at deterring infringement by others who may violate them. Crating awareness of the existence of your rights provides additional protection and legal benefits in the sense that the owner can easily prosecute any potential infringement in the court of law where necessary.
Let an Intellectual Property Attorney Help
If you have a copyright or are thinking about obtaining the rights to something that is not obvious, you might need an intellectual property attorney to help protect your hard-earned rights. Conversely, if you have been accused of infringing on other people’s rights, you are need to hire a legal expert in the field of intellectual and property law to help fight back.